RPF leaders meet over country’s future

The expanded National Executive Committee of the Rwanda Patriotic Front convened over the weekend under the stewardship of the party chairman, President Paul Kagame.
President Kagame speaks to the congregation of RPF leaders during the meeting in Kigali on Saturday. The New Times/ Village Urugwiro.
President Kagame speaks to the congregation of RPF leaders during the meeting in Kigali on Saturday. The New Times/ Village Urugwiro.

The expanded National Executive Committee of the Rwanda Patriotic Front convened over the weekend under the stewardship of the party chairman, President Paul Kagame.

The high-level meeting saw party leaders and cadres discuss current performance and challenges in achieving the national vision.

Unity and reconciliation, the drive for self reliance, the upcoming parliamentary elections and the work ethic expected of RPF leaders are among the issues that featured during the meeting that continued until late Saturday evening.

“We are building a new Rwanda; there is no time to waste. We are moving forward,” President Kagame said.

He noted that while there may be elements that are determined to derail Rwanda’s progress, it was the

responsibility of every party member to ensure that the country stays on track for the benefit of each and every Rwandan.

Kagame cautioned RPF members against complacency particularly leaders who seemed comfortable with the status quo despite ongoing complex challenges that Rwanda has to maneuver as it endeavors to achieve sustainable peace and economic growth.

The party chairman urged the delegates to change their mindsets and work with a positive attitude.

“Our aim is to develop our country and our people. As RPF members, we have one goal – building Rwanda. We should have the same aspirations and work as a team together with the Rwandan people including those who do not belong to the RPF,” Kagame said.

The President observed that in addition to the internal challenges Rwanda faces, it also has to deal with issues from the region and beyond. He added that it is through strong teamwork that the problems can be successfully confronted.

“We should own our challenges and together seek solutions. We can’t expect others to come and solve our problems; every Rwandan has a role to play here,” he emphasized.

DR Congo conflict

Speaking about conflict in eastern DR Congo, the RPF chairman pointed out that even though problems in the Congo have existed since colonial times, Rwanda has suffered the consequences aimed at derailing the country’s development agenda.

“Development partners mix regional politics with the aid they give us. As you very well remember, last year they stopped their aid to Rwanda. We should look for concrete actions to address these issues because they don’t affect an individual but all Rwandan citizens... there is no room for complacency. We are aiming at self reliance despite the fact that it comes with challenges, we cannot relent if we want a bright future for our country.”

The President added: “We can choose to be satisfied with making the least effort and remaining dependent for the rest of our lives even if that means being mistreated. You can choose to be defined by others or you can choose to be who you deserve to be.

Our history has taught us the right choice. RPF made the choice to work hard to achieve the dignity Rwanda wants and deserves. We will only be able to benefit from hard work.” President Kagame addressing the RPF extended National Executive Council.

Unity and reconciliation 

The President called on Rwandans to live in harmony, urging continued efforts to strengthen unity and reconciliation. He challenged those who claim that all Hutus were forced to apologise for the Genocide against the Tutsi:

“Why should you have a problem with someone asking for forgiveness on your behalf but not with the one who killed in your name. We are not putting the blame on you, it is those who perpetuated crimes in your name who put the blame on you. The crime was not simply the killing but the silence of many in the face of the persecution of the innocent. Asking for forgiveness for choosing silence while a crime was committed in your name is the right thing to do.” 

Kagame pointed out that the RPF is focused on the well being of each and every Rwandan and that if it wasn’t for the RPF’s progressive policies that prioritise the wellbeing of all Rwandans, the post-genocide situation would have been much worse and many more people would have lost their lives.

“We are all Rwandans and we should build our country together. We are building a new country; we are tired of those who are trying to take us back.”

The youth were commended for their role in promoting reconciliation.

Many RPF members spoke about their personal experiences with forgiveness and reconciliation with several expressing strong views on party members’ personal and collective duty to lead the drive for unity and harmony among Rwandans.

Former officials held to account

In a deeply entrenched RPF culture of accountability, several senior cadres who had previously served in high positions in government, including the recently fired EAC ministry bosses openly accounted for their poor performance.

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